Trump's Twitter account a double-edged sword
WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - One of President Donald Trump’s most powerful political tools is Twitter. The social media platform allows the president to communicate directly with his 27.3 million followers.
“[Trump’s] core supporters really enjoy this. This rude and curt, off-the-cuff version of a politician,” said John Hudak, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute.
President Trump often takes to Twitter to discuss his agenda, which can be very effective. Other times, the president unleashes Twitter attacks from which no one is off limits, from TV shows like "Saturday Night Live" to celebrities and political adversaries.
“It is an absolute failure on the president’s part and something that I’m sure the staffers in the White House cringe when he tweets certain things,” Hudak said.
But Trump’s Twitter account can be a doubled-edged sword. Many world leaders and elected officials are not used to this unconventional way of communication.
“People are left to wonder what the president truly wants or truly means or thinks, and that type of uncertainty from an American president is challenging,” Hudak said.
A big moment of ambiguity came in March when Trump launched an explosive tweet alleging former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower.
In an interview with The Financial Times, the president said he had no regrets about any of his past tweets.
“I don’t regret anything because there is nothing you can do about it. You know, if you issue hundreds of tweets and every once in a while you have a clinker, that’s not so bad,” he told The Financial Times. President Trump added, “Now, my last tweet, you know, the one that you are talking about perhaps, was the one about being, in quotes, 'wiretapped,' meaning surveilled. Guess what, it is turning out to be true.”
Regardless of how the story pans out, Hudak believes it’s a lose-lose situation for Trump.
“That is why Twitter is damaging for the president: he started a narrative around wiretapping and, but he has now backed himself into a politically damaging corner,” said Hudak.
U.S. officials have not confirmed the veracity of Trump’s claims. So far, only the chair of the House Intelligence Committee said there was “incidental collection” of communications of the Trump team.
"Twitter can be a very powerful tool for a politician but can be a very harmful thing for a politician, too," cautioned Hudak.